Alumni Spotlight is a series of interviews conducted with members of the Dalhousie Alumni Association.
Nickname: “Jude” or “Ricey”
Class of ‘75
Bachelor of Health and Physical Education
Current role: President of Dalhousie Black and Gold Club
Other accomplishments: Worked for HRM in Business Planning and Information Management and seconded to 2014 Halifax Commonwealth Games Bid Team
Dalhousie Gazette: What is the thing you have done in your life that you are most proud of?
Judi Rice: The thing I was probably most proud of was that while I was working for the Halifax Regional Municipality, I was one of the key developers of an employee recognition program. I have always been of the view that if employees are happy they will be effective and loyal employees. In essence, I put together a motivational program for employee recognition.
DG: Why did you decide to attend Dal?
JR: It’s funny because Dal was actually not my first choice—I come from a family of Acadia grads, my mom, Dad, my older sister, her husband and two eldest children are all Acadia grads. My mom is from Wolfville and we had a cottage each year at Evangeline Beach. Acadia is so close to Halifax and I was recruited to go to Acadia, but after my first year at Acadia I sat out a year then moved to Dal as they had a faculty where I could get a bachelor of physical education and I wanted to be a physical education teacher—so I decided to go to Dal.
DG: Where did you live while you were at Dal?
JR: I lived at home on Preston Street. I loved the neighbourhood and had a great relationship with my folks so I was really happy there.
DG: Where could you be found most often on campus while you were at Dal?
JR: When I was at Dal they had a building for the health and physical education faculty by Studley Gym called Phys Ed House. It was next to Wickwire Field which at the time we used to call “Muddly Puddly Studley Field.” As I was a two team athlete, field hockey and basketball, I could be found either on Muddly Puddly Studley Field or at the Phys Ed house.
DG: Favourite place to study while at Dal?
JR: Study? What’s that? Kidding, just kidding, there was a lot of work in the physical education program as we had regular classes as well as activity classes. I don’t think I ever studied alone; we had lots of group projects and a few of us would always go to the library and grab a room and would study there and spend our time there. We would also often be in Tupper Building.
DG: What was your biggest distraction while you were at Dal?
JR: The Grawood. I feel like that this speaks for itself.
DG: What was your favourite cafeteria food on campus?
JR: I didn’t really eat at the cafeteria.
DG: What is your favourite Dal memory?
JR: There were many but, a favourite memory was one year when both of my varsity teams won championships—we were AUS champions for both basketball and field hockey. I also have very fond memories of my faculty—we were a small faculty and we all stay in touch even many years later—I still have many close friends from my faculty at Dal.
DG: How did your Dal experience prepare you for what came after?
JR: I was trained as a teacher and did a bit of supply teaching—and while I didn’t teach as a career, training in education prepared me to speak in front of people and I am now very comfortable speaking publicly. In my career, I have spent a lot of time on the front lines interacting with people and this ease with interacting with people was developed by my Dal experience. Dal also helped me with my coaching which I have done lots of over the years, and my coaching skills have also helped me professionally.
DG: What do you see as the best thing about being a Dal alum?
JR: Dal was nothing but a wonderful experience for me. I would go back to university in a minute. I am proud to be a Dal alumni. And being alumni, you have the opportunity to stay involved in the university if you wish which I find really adds to my life. It allows me to be part of the school, enjoy Tigers games, and see and interact with people that I wouldn’t otherwise get to see. When I graduated, I promised myself that I would give back to Dal and have been involved in the university since I graduated.
DG: Do you have any words of wisdom for current Dal students—something you wish you had known when you were a student?
JR: I would say to students that university should be some of the best years of your life so get involved in the university in some capacity or another. Whether it be music, a club, intermurals, just do something. There are so many opportunities and you shouldn’t be afraid to get involved—particularly at a big university like Dal. It is a great way to meet people.